Exercise your right to say no to rate increase

Do you want to pay for developer expansion?

California law says you don't have to.

The City Council is pursuing another rate hike. Our right to protest this was given to us in Proposition 218. It spells out that ratepayers like us are only obligated to pay for operations and maintenance, not for developer expansion! Developers are legally obligated to pay for expansion. Not the ratepayers.

You as a rate-paying customer have the legal right to say "No, I won't pay for developer expansion."

Join your neighbors, citizens and business owners to stop yet another rate hike.

When the city signed for the $44 million loan, they put the ratepayers on the hook for the entire amount. That's right, 100 percent. Guess how much of our $44 million sewer plant was "expansion"?

The city says 11.8 percent. Wrong. They lied. Let's just look at the "lab" that used to be 800 square feet. A 12 percent "expansion" means the new lab would only be 896 square feet! The new lab is 2,400 square feet. That's not just double, that's triple the size.

The cost to build the new lab? $2andfrac12; million dollars. We were told in 2007 that the lab would pay for itself in 2andfrac12; years. Guess what? The lab hasn't made a dime yet.

Let's look at the membrane bio-reactor that's all new. We never had one before. Guess how much it cost? Over $30 million. That all goes to the issue of "expansion" with bigger buildings, bigger pipes and more machinery. The ratepayers should only be obligated for $12 million. So why are we ratepayers subjected to these ever increasing rates? To pay for "expansion"!

Remember, you the ratepayer are not supposed to pay for "expansion." Do you want them to charge you for expansion? Exercise your legal right to say "no" if you own a property or pay for sewer, then sign your protest now and the increase will not go forward on May 19.

Inform your neighbors and sign the petition at 937 J Street. There is a table in front of the house. Fill in your street address and signature. The table is there during daylight hours. The main cross street is J and 9th St. You may call Donna at 951-3650.

Norman Grochowski,Crescent City

Area 1 Agency on Agingagainst Critical Access

Our role as an Advisory Council to the Area 1 Agency on Aging is to listen to the needs of seniors and their caregivers and work with others to ensure these needs are met. Nothing is more critical in our elder years than access to a good Acute Care hospital and the aftercare needed to restore health. The Advisory Council has written to Sutter Coast Hospital about the harmful effects the change from an Acute Care to a Critical Access hospital will have on senior healthcare. Still, they are moving forward with their plans. We strongly encourage members of the community to speak up about this and let your concerns be known to Sutter Coast.

It is our understanding that the move toward Critical Access requires hospitals to "maintain an annual average length of stay at 96 hours (four days) or less," and to allow no more than 25 acute care patients to be admitted to the hospital at any one time. It is unthinkable that seniors - or anyone else - might have only four days of care in Crescent City's only hospital, if more may be needed.

The cost of airlifting a seriously ill or injured patient out of the area when more care is needed will be exorbitant and the obstacles to finding transportation back over 90andndash;300 miles of winding rural roads are huge.

5,986 people over age 60 live in Del Norte County. That number is projected to grow to 8,107 by 2020. Currently 52.4 percent of these seniors have disabilities affecting their daily living and 42 percent have barely enough income to live on. With such a growth in numbers, seniors will need longer and more complex hospital care, not less. Younger community members also need to have access to a proper hospital for emergencies and accidents. Please join us in letting Sutter Coast Hospital know you want to keep our hospital available for all who need it.

Bonnie MacGregor,president, Area 1 Agencyon Aging Advisory Council

Change conversation in the race for sheriff

We need to change the conversation.

Hello, I'm Mike Marler, founder of the Bertsch Tract Neighborhood Watch. I believe that Second Amendment rights shouldn't be an issue in the sheriff elections, but they are, so if you have any doubts about Erik Apperson being pro-Second Amendment, you should talk to him. I'm pro-Second Amendment and I talk to him about it, and let me tell you there is no doubt in my mind that Erik will protect your Second Amendment rights. He is the real deal.

If we are concerned about our Second Amendment rights (and we should be), we need to bring our concerns to the ones who make the laws and can make a difference, not the ones who enforce them.

It's good Dean Wilson is pro-Second Amendment, but we need more than that out of our sheriff. We need to change the conversation in the sheriff elections to fighting crime so you never have to exercise your Second Amendment rights.

Mike Marler,Crescent City

Chris Doehle already excellent as judge

I have known Chris Doehle for 20 years as my lawyer and as my friend.

Chris is now the Superior Court judge and she is doing an outstanding job. Go see her in action for yourself. You will be amazed and impressed at her intelligent, sensitive, and sensible decisions.It is obvious that Chris is a hard working, brilliant person who's already excellent at her job as our judge.

She definitely needs to be reelected to this position.

Julie Violante,Smith River